Defense chief vows continued reform campaign despite high-profile scandal

SEOUL, July 27 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo on Friday vowed full and sincere efforts for a successful defense reform despite a coup scandal currently rocking the military.

"I won't be reluctant to step down from my position (if necessary)," the embattled minister told reporters. "I am only doing my duty for the success of the defense reform and the Defense Security Command (DSC) reform."

The DSC, an influential unit tasked with collecting security-related intelligence and investigating anti-state activities, was found to have drawn up detailed plans to invoke a set of draconian decrees to control domestic security conditions last year, when then President Park Geun-hye faced impeachment.

Lawmakers voted to impeach her amid weeks of candlelight vigils and the Constitutional Court upheld the National Assembly's decision.

According to the recently disclosed 67-page document, the DSC proposed the mobilization of special forces and tanks to counter massive civilian protests.

The defense chief is under fire for keeping the issue secret for months after receiving a related briefing from the DSC commander in March.

Ruling party lawmakers branded it as a de-facto coup attempt by the command dominated by Army officers.

Song's statement came shortly after reporting the so-called Defense Reform 2.0 plan to President Moon Jae-in. The reform plan revolves around a set of measures making the armed forces smaller but more powerful, including a sharp reduction in the number of general-level officers.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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